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Linux Business Games Linux

Ask Slashdot: Is Linux Set To Be PC Gaming's Number Two Platform? 281

Posted by Soulskill
from the year-of-linux-in-the-living-room dept.
monkeyhybrid writes "Following a tweet from the developer of Maia (a cross platform game soon to hit Steam) that Linux was bringing him more game sales than OS X. Gaming On Linux decided to investigate further by reaching out to multiple developers for platform sales statistics. Although the findings and developer comments show Linux sales to still be sitting in third place, behind those of OS X and Windows, they are showing promise. Developer feedback certainly appears to be positive about the platform's future. With Steam OS on its way, surely leading to more big title releases making their way to the Linux platform, could Linux gaming be set to take the number two spot from Apple?"
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Ask Slashdot: Is Linux Set To Be PC Gaming's Number Two Platform?

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  • *Sure* it is. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Linux on the desktop, BABY!

  • by LF11 (18760) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:02PM (#46105473) Homepage
    I'll become a gamer again if this happens. Just the idea of this makes me incredibly happy.
    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:54PM (#46106417)
      Why? Did you look at those numbers?

      Puppy Games
      89% Windows
      6% Mac OSX
      5% Linux

      I have more good news for you. In a three way dunk competition between you, Kobe Bryant, and me, you have a good shot at coming in second!!!

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:07PM (#46106805) Homepage Journal

      I'll become a gamer again if this happens. Just the idea of this makes me incredibly happy.

      Linux is already the #2 gaming platform.

      Don't wait to be happy.

      SteamOS will be available for download very soon, and then you're going to see a lot start to happen. I'm already collecting components for my SteamBox. No, it's not going to be in the "living room" because playing games in the living room is for children. I play games at a desk with a captain's chair like God intended.

      Plus, my wife won't let me connect my gaming computer to the big TV. You know how it goes, "happy wife, happy life". Anyway, once I get my Oculus Rift I won't need that big TV. It's easier to play in a room by myself because then nobody can see me making funny faces and sticking my tongue out with drool on my chin while I'm running and jumping through Steelport in nothing but a tattoos, a cowboy hat and high heels.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Dahamma (304068)

        Linux is already the #2 gaming platform.

        No, it's definitely not.

        Even if you call Android a Linux platform, it's still WAY behind on what drives game development - revenue. The Xboxen, PS[34], GameBoy(s), Wii, iOS, etc are all orders of magnitude ahead on that front. Linux as a gaming platform is currently totally irrelevant, and with SteamOS will transition to mostly irrelevant.

        But, please don't let that stop you! If availability of games on Linux allows just one more guy to jump around in a cowboy hat and high heels, it's still a net gain to

  • by putaro (235078) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:05PM (#46105507) Journal

    It's a variant of Linux but it's not for use with a general purpose computer. By that standard, BSD (iOS sorta kinda) and Linux (Android) are already major game platforms.

    • Unknown sources (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:15PM (#46105607) Homepage Journal
      As I understand what I've read, Steam OS allows the user to exit the Steam client, run GNOME, and install games from unknown sources. Android (both Google Play and Fire OS flavors) likewise lets users install games from unknown sources. The odd man out here is iOS.
      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        ... and every other console, which is effectively what iOS is. I'm not saying it's bad as such, it's just a limitation that some people want and some very much don't.

    • by deragon (112986)

      What is promissing is that any game that would be running under SteamOS could also run under Ubuntu, a general purpose distribution for which you can install many desktop applications. You cannot do that on Android or iOS.

      • by putaro (235078)

        That would be kind of nice, but will it make "Linux" (i.e. Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.) into a major gaming platform? There are people who run Linux as their major desktop and keep a Windows partition around for gaming but is that a large market?

        I think Steam OS has a decent shot at being successful, but is it fair to call a machine running Steam OS a Linux machine? I don't think so (unless you want to call Android a Linux machine as well) and if that's the case, then no, I don't think Linux will become the #2 g

    • It's a variant of Linux but it's not for use with a general purpose computer.

      Oh yeah? My kids aren't complaining, and neither are theirs. Likewise the many thousands of others who've already downloaded and installed Ye Olde Steam OS [github.com]. and yes, those boxes are still desktop machines, they just hook up to the CatLeap in the lounge room when gaming (Steam is just an interface, nothing to stop you having the desktops of your choice installed on the same box - no need to dual boot.

  • by Delarth799 (1839672) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:06PM (#46105509)
    ..there isn't much holding me back from dumping Windows all together so seeing that Linux as a viable gaming platform is on the rise it shouldn't be too much longer before I can dump it all together and go full Linux. Sure Linux has Wine support but I would prefer to have native support instead.
    • by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:22PM (#46105685) Homepage Journal

      Sure Linux has Wine support but I would prefer to have native support instead.

      Wine is not an emulator but a reimplementation of the Win32 API. So long as the developer of a video game or other application tests its product on Wine, it's just another toolkit, just as GTK+ and Qt and SDL are toolkits. In such a case, I don't see how an app running in Wine is any less "native" than, say, a Qt app running on a GTK+-based distribution. If you complain instead that not enough developers and publishers of games designed for Windows care about Wine compatibility, I can agree with that complaint though. Is that what you're trying to say?

      • Yah. I haven't checked lately but I remember for a while it could be a pain in the butt to get games to work on Wine because developers didn't care about Wine support. Hopefully with Linux moving up now they could at least get the ball rolling on Wine compatibility.
      • by KiloByte (825081) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:44PM (#46105857)

        Wine: an emulator of the win32 API+ABI on POSIX+X.
        WinXP/Vista/7/8: an emulator of the win32 API+ABI on NT.

        Neither is native in this sense.

      • Wine has to thunk system calls and handle PE/COFF objects so in that respect it isn't quite as native as Qt and GTK+. Win16 code even is more aggressively manipulated to get it running.

    • ..there isn't much holding me back from dumping Windows all together so seeing that Linux as a viable gaming platform is on the rise it shouldn't be too much longer before I can dump it all together and go full Linux. Sure Linux has Wine support but I would prefer to have native support instead.

      This is a very common opinion. However the problem is that switching from Windows to Linux does not really help the developer. The developer replaced a Windows sale with a Linux sale. Basically Linux will largely cannibalize Windows sales. So the justification to the developer for doing a Linux version has to go beyond simply the number of Linux sales.

      For a small and not-well-known developer this benefit may be greater exposure and word of mouth. For the large established developer the benefits for a Li

      • Basically Linux will largely cannibalize Windows sales.

        Not for games designed around the 2 to 4 controllers and large monitor in a living room. Only a tiny number of people [slashdot.org] have put together a living room gaming PC running Windows. The Steam Machines, on the other hand, are designed for the living room in order to make it easier for developers to get controller-friendly games out to the public with less overhead and less red tape than the consoles.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Hmm, controller-friendly games and current Steam games are mostly for separate market segments. So it means Valve is branching into a new market.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      ..there isn't much holding me back from dumping Windows all together so seeing that Linux as a viable gaming platform is on the rise it shouldn't be too much longer before I can dump it all together and go full Linux. Sure Linux has Wine support but I would prefer to have native support instead.

      Games are pretty much the only thing keeping me on Windows.

      Linux, OSX/IOS, Android. Games are pretty much the only thing I do that cant be effectively done though a browser or are generic enough to have programs to perform the same thing on all platforms.

  • Number six

      Be seeing you

  • Maia and Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:09PM (#46105537)
    Maia isn't a game that's "soon to be released". Maia is in a very early alpha stage with very little of the final functionality - you'd expect Linux to be over represented in that particular sample.
    • by mjwx (966435)

      Maia isn't a game that's "soon to be released". Maia is in a very early alpha stage with very little of the final functionality

      So if it were an EA game, we'd be in the post release stage.

  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:21PM (#46105681)

    The problem is that Linux still needs a baseline distro for developers to target. Ubuntu had a lot of promise until the last few years where it's been shifted to target every device *except* desktops. Not to mention the weird shit they've been pushing like ads in the OS.

    I'd really like to see something to the effect of a Linux Gaming Standard, where as long as certain structural conditions are met within any given distro, developers could simply target those standards and build their rpm/deb packages and not have to worry about supporting Ubuntu specifically. I'm talking things like specific libraries and drivers that need to be present for "Linux Gaming Standard" certification, so that people aren't having to worry about hunting down the right repo by blindly copy/pasting some forum suggestion for someone else into their terminal hoping to make magic happen.

  • The premise here is a bit odd. Windows is the obvious #1 platform on PC but the #2 Mac doesn't have a close second to Windows globally. Taking 2nd place here isn't very hard. There aren't even many desktop OSes capable of running modern games now. I also though Linux wasn't a "platform" since it isn't an OS, its the kernel. Anyhow, given the small number of desktop gaming OSes, it won't be hard to be #3 or #4. Unless I'm mistaken. Maybe there are a lot of gamers using DOS, OS/2, Solaris, BSD, BeOS, QNX ....

  • by Volguus Zildrohar (1618657) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:41PM (#46105837)

    On the Maia website, for system requirements:

    OS: LINUX 64, WINDOWS. MAC SUPPORT COMING SOON.

  • Linux is GPL 2.0. General Public License 2.0 does not have the "2.0 or any greater version clause" so Linux can't have a viral open source lock-down like GPL 3.0 and Linus Torvalds doesn't seem interested or able (the contributions to GPL 2.0 *cannot be relicensed to GPL 2.1 or GPL 3.0*

    So things like Android and Steam OS aren't going to bring Linux style "freedom".

    You can still do TIVOization and use the operating system itself but also have proprietary stuff (think NVIDIA Linux video card drivers.

    So in
    • by Microlith (54737)

      TrollstonButterbeans

      Nice, but in case some fool takes you seriously...

      Linux can't have a viral open source lock-down like GPL 3.0

      Irrational statements like this show you argue from emotion rather than logic.

      So things like Android and Steam OS aren't going to bring Linux style "freedom".

      SteamOS being based on Debian means it could very well do so, as Debian readily uses GPLv3 packages and nothing Valve is doing would be impacted by the GPLv3.

      You can still do TIVOization

      Yet nothing indicates Valve will do so.

      • I mentioned discussed TIVOization and how NVIDIA can easily within their rights publish closed-sourced drivers for Linux. Android is open source, but certain key apps like Gmail, Maps, Google Play are closed sourced (this was a recent article here).

        Debian is GPL 2 as well, I figure you know this but from your comment I can't tell and it isn't clear if you understand the licenses but you could Google and see why and how changes to the GPL have been made over time.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      SteamOS may or may not require some hooks in the kernel. Personally I don't care, and I love my Tivo, but some people may freak out over the loss of "freedom". But when it comes to Steam the battle for freedom has been lost anyway as it is a major source of DRM and publisher control in computer games. Even if SteamOS has no hooks into the kernel and is a pure application, it still makes Tivoization seem like a minor quibble in comparison.

  • The only major game development tool that I know of so far which can create games for Linux is Unity3D, and it doesn't even run under Linux, and so is very unlikely to result in any Linux-exclusive games, If the developer already has windows or a mac, and they are making a desktop version of a game anyways, even if they ultimately intend to support Linux, they are almost always going to target their own native platform first.

    Exclusive content is important if there's ever to be any large scale adoption e

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I'm sure one is capable of developing on different platforms than the intended runtime platform. Afterall I'm pretty sure that PS4 games weren't developed on the PS4 or even PS3.

      Exclusive content is bad. Just. Bad. It offers no benefit to the consumer.

      • by mark-t (151149)
        Apples and oranges. PS4 and PS3 aren't desktop OS's.... Linux is a desktop platform, so are OSX and Windows. It makes absolutely no sense that you need to have Windows or OSX to develop games for Linux.
  • is what Steam should have gone with if they insist on doing this venture (which I decidedly think is a solution searching for a problem). FreeBSD is good enough for Playstation and Sony seems to know what they are doing when it comes to consoles and gaming.

    • by willy_me (212994)
      FreeBSD would be a little stupid. I love BSD, but it lacks driver support for video cards. SteamOS has to support multiple different hardware configurations so going with Linux makes much more sense. Sony is a special case because they are in a position to standardize on a single hardware configuration. For them, BSD should be great.
  • Now I grant that the games in the sales statistics are mostly indie games, not a list of top level titles. But the sales revenue percentage from Linux ranged from 1-6%, which is much better than I expected.

    But I have a hard time seeing SteamOS get much of a foothold. I would love to be proven wrong. But it has got a weaker selection of big name games than the competing consoles are expected to get, and a weaker selection of big name games than the Windows version of Steam will have, and most of the h
    • I agree with you in the short term, but I think Valve is playing a long game here. The current Steamboxes are inferior to consoles, but in a few years when you can get a Steambox with better specs and the consoles haven't changed it may be a different story. And when the next generation of consoles doesn't have backwards compatibility, but Steamboxes do, the game selection problem will be gone. If they're targeting for the long term, they don't need all the secondary services right away; they need the ba

  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:25PM (#46106217) Homepage Journal

    I would think Linux already has taken #2 if you include Android game apps.

    • I would think Linux already has taken #2 if you include Android game apps.

      The article specifically mentioned PC Gaming. Yes you can run android and play android games on your PC if you want to, but I bet the number is insignificant

    • As much as I hate it, the state of gaming on Ios is much better than Android.

  • Is Linux Set To Be PC Gaming's Number Two Platform?

    RTFM
  • ... the year of the linux gaming PC.

  • IMO, it's pretty childish to carry on about whether Linux is beating Max OS X in game sales, or which platform has the bigger market-share.

    The reality of things is, OS X game development has always lagged far behind Windows because so many developers got behind Microsoft's Direct-X and didn't opt to code for OpenGL. In those cases, the only time you got a Mac release was when one of the Mac only companies deemed the game worthy of doing a ground-up conversion of the code to make it OS X compatible. (Aspyr a

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @05:47AM (#46108203) Homepage

    Number two.

    That is all.

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